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Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal MarshesThe San Francisco Estuary$
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Arnas Palaima

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274297

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274297.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Historical Formation

Historical Formation

(p.21) Chapter Two Historical Formation
Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes

Frances Malamud-Roam

Michelle F. Goman

University of California Press

This paper describes the natural history of the remnant tidal salt marshes surrounding the San Francisco Bay estuary. These tidal marshes are ephemeral features, strongly influenced by sea-level rise and climate. Evidence contained in the sediments of the San Francisco Bay estuary show earlier incarnations of the estuary existed during glacial periods when the sea level was lower. Over the several-thousand-year history of the modern estuary, vegetation records contained in the tidal-marsh sediments show that tidal marshes have responded both to the long-term, postglacial trend in the rising sea level and to higher-frequency variations in freshwater inflows principally controlled by climate variations. In particular, the tidal marshes of the San Francisco Bay are affected by climatic conditions that dominate the larger watershed region of the estuary. Described here are significant climatic swings that affected the region during the last six thousand years as evidenced in the vegetation records.

Keywords:   tidal salt marshes, San Francisco Bay estuary natural history, sea level rise, climate change

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